12th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

12th May

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Friday 12 May 1972

Patrick McVeigh (44), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by a member of an undercover British Army unit at Riverdale Park South, Andersonstown, Belfast.

Four other men were shot and injured during this incident.

[On 1 December 2015 the PSNI listed this shooting as one of nine incidents it was investigating in relation to the activities of the British Army’s Military Reaction Force (MRF).]

military reaction force

See Military Reaction Force

At approximately 11.30 pm an 18-year-old man was shot and injured in the Slievegallion area of west Belfast.

[This shooting was also part of the PSNI investigation into MRF activities.]

Thursday 12 May 1977

Day 12 of the UUAC Strike

The port of Larne, County Antrim, was reopened and ferry sailings were resumed.

In an incident on the Donegall Road in Belfast the driver of a petrol tanker was shot when he was forced to stop by a large crowd of loyalist protestors.

During a debate at Westminster Don Concannon, then Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), defended the British government’s security policy in Northern Ireland and pointed to figures which he claimed showed a fall in incidents over the past year.

He also claimed that the UUAC strike was simply diverting the security forces from concentrating on the activity of paramilitary groups. On the political front Concannon also held out the possibility that the government hoped to launch a new initiative after the local council elections scheduled for 18 May 1977. [ UUAC Strike. ]

Tuesday 12 May 1981

Second Hunger Striker Died

After 59 days on hunger strike Francis Hughes (25), an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner in the Maze Prison, died.

[Hughes’ death led to a further surge in rioting in Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland, particularly in Belfast and Derry. In Dublin a group of 2,000 people tried to break into the British Embassy.]

See Hungry Strike

A member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) was shot dead by the British Army in Belfast.

Tuesday 12 May 1992

British soldiers of the Parachute Regiment entered two public houses in Coalisland, County Tyrone, and caused considerable damage to both properties. This incident followed an earlier Irish Republican Army (IRA) attack during which a Paratrooper lost both legs in an explosion.

[The commanding officer of the regiment was later removed from his post. There was a further incident involving British soldiers in the town on 17 May 1992.]

Wednesday 12 May 1993

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb in Oxford, England.

Thursday 12 May 1994

Martin Bradley (23), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), at his relatives home, Crumlin Road, Ardoyne, Belfast.

Monday 12 May 1997

Sean Brown (61), a Catholic civilian, was abducted by members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) as he locked the gates of Bellaghy Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Brown was beaten before being shot dead and his body was found the next day beside his burnt-out car at Randalstown, County Antrim.

Brown who left a wife and six children was a GAA official and was often the last person to leave the Bellaghy GAA club.

[On 19 January 2004 the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland published a report that was highly critical of the police investigation into Brown’s killing (PDF File; 432KB).]

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), called on the new Labour government to make an early statement setting out its position on Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 12 May 1998

The continuing divisions between Unionists in favour of the Good Friday Agreement and those against were evident in personal exchanges between Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

Trimble accused Paisley of “running away again” after Paisley pulled out of a scheduled television debate between the two men.

The British government announced that Adam Ingram, then Northern Ireland Security Minister, would be given the extra responsibility of “minister for victims”. This decision followed the report of the Victims Commissioner on 29 April 1998.

The British government announced a £315 million economic package for Northern Ireland. Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, travelled to Northern Ireland to make the announcement at a gathering of business people and politicians. Brown denied that the package was a bribe to entice voters to support the Good Friday Agreement.

Wednesday 12 May 1999

A Catholic man, who was working on a building site in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, was seriously injured in a Loyalist paramilitary shotgun attack.

[The attack was later claimed by a group calling itself the ‘Protestant Liberation Force’. Some commentators believed that this was a cover name for members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).]

The Orange Order cancelled its plans to hold a single ‘Twelfth’ rally at Drumcree. However the Order said that individual lodges could go to Drumcree after their main parades.

Hillary Clinton, then First Lady of the US, began a two-day visit to Ireland. An honorary doctorate of laws was conferred on Hillary Clinton at NUI Galway where she praised Irish efforts at peace-making and warned of the “perils of indifference” to the Balkan crisis.

Hillary Clinton also became the first woman to receive the freedom of the city of Galway. In the afternoon she flew to Belfast to visit a playground for children hurt during the conflict and then met with 14 female members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Loyalist picket at the Catholic church in Harryville, Ballymena, County Antrim, was called off “until further notice”. The picket had resumed on 10 April 1999. Threats from Loyalist paramilitaries forced the Catholic owners of a public house in Dunmurray, close to Belfast, to close

  

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Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To the Paramilitaries –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

8 People lost their lives on the 12th  between 1972 – 1994

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12 May 1972


Patrick McVeigh   (44)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members from passing car, Riverdale Park South, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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12 May 1977
Douglas Deering   (53)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Justice of the Peace. Shot at his shop, Rosslea, County Fermanagh.

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12 May 1981


Francis Hughes  (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died on the 59th day of hunger strike, Long Kesh / Maze Prison, County Down.

hungry strikes

See Hungry Strike

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12 May 1981
Emmanuel McClarnon   (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by British Army (BA) sniper from observation post, Divis Tower, Divis Flats, Belfast.

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12 May 1982


Francis Toner   (26)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot during gun attack on shop, Antrim Road, New Lodge, Belfast.

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12 May 1982
Thomas Cunningham   (23)

Protestant
Status: ex-Ulster Defence Regiment (xUDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while repairing house, Fountain Park, Strabane, County Tyrone.

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12 May 1984
Ivan Hillen  (46)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his farm, Lismore, near Augher, County Tyrone.

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12 May 1994


Martin Bradley   (23)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot, at his relatives home, Crumlin Road, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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